Conservative Rabbi Says Georgia’s Kosher Law is Unconstitutional Because it Favors the Orthodox


shalom-lewisA Conservative rabbi in Georgia is challenging the constitutionality of his state’s kosher law, saying it favors Orthodox religious standards and constitutes state entanglement in religion. The case follows the overturning of similar kosher laws in two other states and the city of Baltimore. On Aug. 7, Rabbi Shalom Lewis of Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court claiming that Georgia’s Kosher Food Labeling Act, passed in 1980, prevents him from fulfilling his duties as a rabbi.

In a complaint filed on Lewis’ behalf, the American Civil Liberties Union charges that Georgia’s kosher law, which defines “kosher food” as “food prepared under and of products sanctioned by the orthodox Hebrew religious rules and requirements,” ignores different kosher standards of other streams of Judaism.

The Georgia law imposes criminal sanctions for violations of the law, including presenting food as kosher if it has not been so determined by Orthodox authorities.

Thus, the lawsuit contends, the law as written violates the free exercise, establishment, equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. and Georgia constitutions.

The case is the fourth of its kind nationwide. Kosher laws that used similar Orthodox definitions of “kosher food” were overturned in New Jersey in 1992, Baltimore in 1995 and New York in 2003.

Daniel Mach, director of litigation for the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said the arguments in the Georgia case will refer to those rulings.

Lewis, who in his capacity as a rabbi provides kosher supervision to a restaurant and bakery, and acts as rav hamachshir, or senior kosher supervisor, of kosher events held in his synagogue, said he brought the suit because the kosher law in Georgia criminalizes his actions.

“Technically I’ve been a criminal since 1980, which I’m not thrilled about,” he said.

Lewis noted that no Conservative rabbi, including himself, has been prosecuted under the law, but said “it could happen,” and as a taxpayer he did not want to help fund a law that discriminates in this way.

Rabbi Reuven Stein, director of supervision at the Atlanta Kashrus Commission, said he was “disappointed” to learn of the lawsuit. He said the law was enacted in 1980 to protect kosher consumers from fraud, and unlike the kosher laws struck down in New York and New Jersey, Georgia’s law provides no enforcement mechanism.

“It’s toothless anyway,” Rabbi Stein said, which is why he was “surprised” anyone would complain about it.

Furthermore, he said, nothing in the law prevents a Conservative rabbi from giving hechsherim, in contrast to what Lewis charges in his suit.

“Conservative rabbis do give hechsherim in the state of Georgia, and we’ve never had an issue with it,” Rabbi Stein said.

Rabbi Stein said he receives “at least a call a month” from consumers regarding kosher fraud or mislabeling. If the law were overturned, he said, it’s unlikely a “more politically correct one” would replace it, and consumers would have no protection.

Lewis claimed the owner of a local vegetarian restaurant under Conservative supervision received a complaining call from the Atlanta Kashrus Commission, a charge Rabbi Stein denied.

Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive director of the Rabbinical Association, the professional body of Conservative rabbis, said Lewis’ lawsuit is “part and parcel” of the Conservative rabbinate’s ongoing engagement in kashrus.

Many Conservative rabbis give kosher supervision and certification nationwide, she said, and the movement holds periodic courses to teach Conservative rabbis how to perform this function. The next one is scheduled for May.

“His proactive stance is consistent with the activist stance towards kashrut in our movement,” she said, noting in particular the Conservative movement’s year-old commission on Hekhsher Tzedek, or certificate of social justice, a forthcoming initiative to rate kosher-certified food products according to standards of health, safety and working conditions.

“We very much have an eye on the larger society, how we live as Jews in America,” she said. “Hekhsher Tzedek is a clear example of that, and this case is another very fine one.”

Conservative Judaism holds that the laws of kashrus are binding, and in general follows the same kosher laws as Orthodoxy. The movement differs only in the practical application of certain laws, notably the Orthodox restrictions on non-Jews making cheese and wine and lighting cooking fires, which Conservative authorities do not follow. Conservative authorities also permit certain fishes, such as sturgeon and swordfish, forbidden by the Orthodox.

In July 1992, New Jersey’s Supreme Court overturned state kosher regulations that defined kosher in terms of “orthodox Hebrew religious requirements,” ruling that it violated the constitutional prohibition on the establishment of religion.

New Jersey now operates under a “full disclosure scheme,” whereby manufacturers or purveyors of kosher food must fill out forms indicating what they sell and under whose authority. The forms are filed with the state and posted for public view, so consumers can decide for themselves whether to patronize the establishment.

The disclosure form is careful not to make religious judgments. Purveyors must state, for example, whether they sell pork or shellfish, or mix milk and meat, but they can still call themselves kosher, as long as they don’t conceal these facts.

“You can put down absolutely anything in the world you want,” said Rabbi Yakov Dombroff, who has headed New Jersey’s Bureau of Kosher Enforcement since 1986. “Literally, pork could be kosher. The state has no interest in what you call kosher, as long as you’re in compliance with the disclosure.”

In 1995, the Baltimore City Code’s kosher ordinance was overturned as being in violation of the Establishment Clause after a hot dog vendor was fined for putting non-kosher hot dogs too close to kosher ones on his rotisserie.

Nearly a decade later, in 2004, New York State changed its kosher laws, which also defined kosher as “according to orthodox Hebrew religious requirements,” following a lawsuit brought by butchers in Commack. In their original 1996 case, the butchers claimed state kosher supervisions were engaged in a regular pattern of fining them because their store was supervised by a Conservative rabbi.

The New York State Kosher Law Protection Act of 2004, modeled on New Jersey’s “full disclosure” system, requires producers, distributors and retailers of food sold as kosher in the state to submit information about their products, including the identity of the person or organization that certifies them, to the Department of Agriculture and Markets. The information is published in an online directory.

{JTA/ Newscenter}


  1. Do conservative rabbis only use cooked wine as there should be concerns about yayin nesech from their own behavior?
    please advise

  2. According to a 1998 Los Angeles Times poll, only 10 percent of Jews calling themselves “conservative” keep kosher. And of course, “kosher” to these people can mean nothing more than not eating pork (i.e. eating a McDonalds “bacon cheeseburger” is perfectly kosher so long as you hold the bacon).

    So the whole issue is a bit farcical. Conservative Rev. Lewis is in deep denial that his followers just don’t give a hoot. His actions are nothing but “sound a fury signifying nothing.”

  3. He is 100% right. Think of Brooklyn where there is an Eiruv in Boro Park, and it is called Kosher and relied on by 40% of Hemishe families. The other 60% think of it as Chillul Shabbos Min Hatorah. Now comes the State and decides that R. Moshe’s Psak is stronger than the Oruch Hashilchon’s Psak, and therefore calling the Eiruv kosher is illegal.
    Than they would also hand out fines to all the people in Williamsburg for utilizing the Eiruv on Succos on Bedford Avenue, and for closing off Rodney with an Eiruv.
    Next they would fine Bobov because they used to close off 48th Street with an Eiruv, and Satmar on 53rd Street for errecting a Tzuras Hapesach to carry from the Lot accross the Shul, which is osur according to R Moshe.

  4. Rav Tuvia: You are confusing different parts of Torah with those who do not follow the Torah. A Machlokes in Torah, is not like two different “opinions” that people have. Rather, a Machlokes in Torah, is two complementary ASPECTS of the same one Torah; they are both correct; they are both the words of HaShem.

    So when there are various p’sakim from the Aruch HaShulchan and Rav Moshe Feinstein, they are all Divrei Torah, they are all the D’var HaShem, they are all the fullest “Ultra-Orthodox Judaism”!

    By sharp contrast, the ideas of the Reform and Conservative movements are ideas OUTSIDE of the Torah. They openly say this!! Of course, they do not say this in these words, for they want what they do to still be called “Judaism.” But they openly say — it is the very foundation of their movements — that Judaism — the Torah — has to be “changed” and “modernized” from what it was. So they are openly admitting that their “Judaism” and their “Torah” is NOT the same Judaism/Torah that our nation has reverently carried through the centuries.

    There are quite a large number of items from (the real) Torah that they do respect and adhere to. But, unfortunately, with their mistaken ideas, they have rejected many whole areas of our Torah that they think would “not fit” with the modern world.

  5. Yisroel Feldman, I have to agree with that which R. Tuvia asserts. This is NOT an internal Jewish issue, but an issue with regards to the secular world. To them a Jew is a Jew is a Jew.

    In other words they don’t distinguish between Reform, conservative and Orthodox – as we do, where Orthodox is the only true for of Judaism. With this in mind, it becomes as R.Tuvia suggests, an issue of one shita against another. So for the court system to side with one shita ‘Orthodox’ in this case without considering ‘Reform’ or ‘conservative’ shittas, it is improper and in the end, just like all the other times this was brought before a court, Rabbi (conservative) Lewis will win

  6. They think kashrus is obligatory? Really? Last I checked they allow nevelah and consider any animal kosher if it’s a kosher ‘min’. They also mention that they violate the laws of bishul akum, gevenas akum and yayin nesech – this is enough for any orthodox case to be made. Simply cite to the goyishe judges the law of bishul akum and so on as mentioned in any legal code of talmudic law. This should be enough to disqualify the conservatives. It’s like someone saying ‘I follow american law, but I interpret it my own way against the supreme court’ he;d be thrown out of the courthouse on his ear! Kosher means kosher according to Jewish law, not someone’s ‘interpretation’.

    Also, to a goy, the following argument should make sense: Conservaives agree that anything certified kosher by orthodox standards is kosher. Orthodox say that many things certified by conservative authorities are treif – so, everyone’s happy with orthodox standards, while the orthodox consider the conserv to be treif and hence not following kashrus. Also important is the fact that according to orthodox law, a conservative rabbi, who does not follow the torah, does not have the believability the torah requires – this is also a legality which non-jews might appreciate – it’s not orthodox, it’s just jewish law.

    Neglecting bishul akkum is not an ‘application’ of halacha, it’s an abandonment of it, so is yayin nesech and the others.

    This is not an issue of law, it’s an issue of money and tryig to salvage a dyig conservative movement. People dont care about heartless secular judaism – they want the real thing, even if they dont practially live up to its standards.

  7. ‘ive been a criminal since 1980′ – no, you’;ve been a criminal against g-d as a low-life apikores for much longer than that! but that doesnt seem to botgher him, only american laws biother this guy.

  8. unfortunately, he’ll probably win – secular courts will listen if this ‘rabbi’ calls halacha ‘discriminatory’ or whatever, and therefore we can drink stam yainam. he will not of course, tell over the mayosh about the yid who drank the bathwater of the king to show that it is not due to any hatred of goyim, just halacha because G-d says so.

  9. Their reasoning is that they are not against Torah. To the contrary, they are there to enhance Torah; and and according to the Torah, a Rabbi should do everything to enhance the overall keeping of the Torah, even at the cost of being lenient on some rules.
    They will show the Judge how the Rabbis abolished Korbonus, Tumah V’Tahara, Yibum, Eved Knaani, Omoh Evrieyu, Etc , Etc.
    How about in the Torah, they say, where Moshe got permission from Hashem to change the laws for the Bnos Tzelofchot, and for Shevet Yosef, and for people who were Tomoh for the Korbon Pesach.
    On the other hand, the Eiruv is illegal, because according to the non-carriers,it came about via a mistaken Pshat, not in order to enhance the overall Torah.

  10. “Lewis, who in his capacity as a rabbi provides kosher supervision to a restaurant and bakery, and acts as rav hamachshir, or senior kosher supervisor, of kosher events held in his synagogue, said he brought the suit because the kosher law in Georgia criminalizes his actions.”

    No, it’s actually the Torah which criminalizes his actions. State law just seems to agree, for a nice change.

    Nisht kien Rabbi!

  11. No way in the world can you explain to Judge & Jury why the Rabbis were allowed to abandon the Shofar blowing and the four Minim and Megillah when it fell on Shabbos, contrary to the previous Rabbis.
    How could Rabeinu Gershom come up with new Halochos and Cheirums when it is contrary to the clear teaching of the Torah.
    Once we have to admit that “change” is sometimes permissable, we lost our case.

  12. from the perspective of American Constitutional Law, there is probably no way to stop Lewis and his ilk. Therefore I say, let the conservatives make their own “kashrus” symbols. any company who tries to put it on their food packages will learn a bitter lesson when sales plummet from the Jewish community who are truly concerned about kashrus.

  13. posted on 8-24-09 at

    R. Leibel and Yanky, you made an excellent observation. Reform and Conservative people certainly DO point to various aspects and events of our Torah HaKdosha and
    exclaim: “Ah ha! You see that our Torah changes!!”

    Of course, these items they point to are not proofs at all, for they have nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of change! B’Ezras HaShem, let us look at a few of them.

    1.) The incident with the daughters of Tzelafchad had nothing to do with “changing” HaShem’s laws of inheritance. Rather, the story, as related in Bamidbar/Numbers, chapter 27, verses 1-11, is as follows. The four daughters of Tzelafchad approached Moshe Rabaynu and his colleagues with the problem that their deceased father had no sons to inherit him. Now, if his property were to revert to other parts of his family, his particular name would be lost. So, to keep his name alive, they requested (see the commentary of Rashi) that either they be given their father’s property, or, that their mother should do a Yibum-marriage to their father’s brother (in which the deceased’s name IS kept stamped on the family; see Devarim/Deuteronomy chapter 25, verses 5-6).

    The commentary of Rashi points out that the girls stressed that they were making these requests BECAUSE their father had no sons. They thus clearly implied that if their father had had any sons, they would have had no question at all. For they would have fully understood and fully respected that then, the sons would inherit, and they had no objection to that at all! So obviously, they were NOT a group of “progressive” women “demanding” equal hand-outs! Furthermore, the entire theme of their so-called “complaint” was not for anything for themselves, but rather for the preservation of the name OF THEIR FATHER! (Wow! The administrators of the women’s liberation organizations would probably call these daughters of Tzelafchad a bunch of REGRESSIVE Uncle Toms!)

    Anyway, HaShem answered Moshe — again, HaShem was not “changing” any of His laws — inheritance goes from the father to his sons; only, in this particular instance where the father had no sons, then the inheritance goes to the man’s daughters.

    2.) The Korbonos — the extensive service of animal and food offerings performed in the Beis HaMikdash —


    They have been called primitive and even barbaric ancient practices that were abolished a long time ago.

    First of all, the reason we are not making offerings right now is not because Judaism “changed” and “they” “abolished” the Korbonos!! The reason we are not making offerings right now IS BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ABLE TO!!

    The armies of ancient Babylon and ancient Rome DESTROYED the Beis HaMikdash; ever since then, the various empires that ruled over Eretz Yisroel never allowed us to rebuild it. Today, we see how even a partial Israeli country has vehemently enraged the Arab world to make all out jihad on us. Those countries that are friendly and supportive of us, still, in order to make peace, advise us to give up this piece and that piece and that other piece and this other piece, etc. to the Arab terrorists! If even one of us makes even a slight move at the Temple Mount, the already violent situation explodes into a wild fireball of massacres of our people!

    Furthermore, with our long centuries of exile, right now, we do not even know HOW to build a Beis HaMikdash!

    So obviously, we are forced to wait until HaShem in His mercy, will bring the Geula Sh’laima, in which He will supernaturally give us an already made Beis HaMikdash!

    We certainly pray and beg HaShem every day to very soon bring the Geula with the restored Beis HaMikdash and the reactivation of the Korbonos.

    Now, many people heavily point to numerous verses in the section of TaNach called “The Prophets.” These transmissions of what HaShem instructed our holy Nevi’im — our ancient holy prophets, could be misread to sound like a call to end the Korbonos. For example: “What do I need your many offerings for? . . . Stop bringing the meaningless meal offerings!” (See Yeshaiyahu/Isaiah, chapter 1, verses 11-13.)

    See the commentary of Rav Menachem Mendel Hirsch, ZT’L (son of Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch, ZT’L), on the Haftora of Parshas D’varim. There, in great detail, Rav Hirsch vehemently condemns the twisted distortions that have been made of these and similar verses. He demonstrates that HaShem is, of course, not abolishing the mitzvos of the Korbonos. Rather, HaShem is denouncing the MISUSE of the Korbonos. The issue is that people would bring a fine Korbon to the Beis HaMikdash. Then, they would think that with the Korbon, they had fulfilled their obligation of serving HaShem, and they were now at liberty to do what they want.

    This is a common problem that has existed in all religions up through the present time. People think that if they go to the house of worship and piously say a lot of prayers, then they are good religious people. Then, they have no qualms with, for example, engaging in under the table schemes of monetary deception and/or abusing their wives at home.

    Such attitudes are totally wrong and the exact opposite of what the Torah is. Our Torah HaKdosha, the D’var HaShem — the Word of G-D, is to elevate and sanctify ALL aspects of our ENTIRE lives. Therefore, in Judaism, for example, the conducting of business transactions with the fullest honesty and integrity, and a man giving his wife the highest respect and dignity, are just as much full religious obligations as the saying of prayers on Yom Kippur!

    So the procedures we do in the Beis HaMikdash, as extremely important as they are, are not the entire picture of service of HaShem. Rather, when we take an animal and offer it up to HaShem in the Beis HaMikdash, this is to be a symbol to us to teach us to now go and offer OURSELVES up to HaShem and fully serve Him WHEN WE GO OUT OF THE BEIS HAMIKDASH!!

    But to (mis)use a Korbon (or a prayer) as a front to appear real frum while, for example, being mean to people, is a terrible perversion of what a Korbon is; it is these phoney Korbonos that HaShem condemns and declares: “Stop bringing the meaningless offerings!”

    Very unfortunately, our Jewish brethren who are far from the truth of our Torah, are certainly far from the true understanding of the Korbonos. They have been fed the sick propaganda (mentioned above) of the offerings being long discarded primitive rituals. Therefore, in the making of their “modernized” prayer books, those prayers that ask HaShem for the restoration of the Korbonos were either reworded into different statements or totally removed!!

    (The payrush on the Haftoros by the son used to come together with the whole set of the previous translation of the Hirsch Chumash; now, it is sold as a separate volume. See:

    3.) When commanding us the various Mitzvos, HaShem many times stressed that we must “guard” these Mitzvos. Now “guarding” Mitzvos obviously means that we must be very careful to make sure that we properly do them; being very careful to make sure that we properly do them certainly includes taking appropriate measures to facilitate and ensure our doing of the Mitzvos.

    Let us think about a little parable. A person has a job that starts at nine o’clock in the morning. Now, the rule of the job is that he needs to be at the job at nine o’clock in the morning. The terms of the job though does not say anything about what time he must leave his house to come to the job. However, the term of the job IS that he must be there at nine o’clock in the morning. Now, if the time it takes him to travel from his house to the place of the job is about a half an hour, then — in order to fulfill the terms of the job — he obviously MUST leave his house at eight thirty!

    Furthermore, this is only when the modes of transportation that he uses are working well and thus the travel time is always just thirty minutes. But if, for example, there has been an increase of wild drivers in that area who often cause severe crashes on the highway, and when such an accident occurs, there can be a heavy traffic backup that can take even an hour to clear up, then, on such a day, the travel time is going to be a lot longer than thirty minutes! On such a day, the travel time could possibly be an hour and thirty minutes! So now — and it has nothing to do with that the rules of his job have “changed”; on the contrary, it is so that HIS POSITION WITH THE COMPANY WILL NOT “CHANGE” (in other words, we do not want him to get fired!) — he cannot first leave his house at eight thirty; instead, he will need to leave his house at seven thirty!

    L’havdil, let us now look at an example from the Torah. A large area of our Torah is that of Shabbos and Yom Tov with numerous Mitzvos that lay out what we should and should not do on these holy days. One of these Mitzvos is that we cannot write or draw any letters or pictures on these days. Now, it is obviously understandable that when a person picks up a pen or a pencil or a crayon or a felt marker or any writing or drawing instrument, he feels an impulse to write or draw something with it. So it is basic common sense that since on Shabbos and Yom Tov we are not allowed to write or draw anything, we should also not handle writing or drawing instruments then either. In more recent centuries, our nation was in exile and we were thus not able to maintain a high degree of holiness of thought and action, and in general, people became weaker in self control. So then it became very prudent for our nation to declare an across the board set rule that on Shabbos and Yom Tov, we are not allowed to even handle any writing or drawing instruments.

    So, when our Rabbonim thus declared these Halachos of Muktzeh, that a “K’li Shemelachto L’issur” — “a utensil that is used to perform an activity that is prohibited (on Shabbos and Yom Tov)” is termed “Muktzeh” — “off limits,” they obviously were not making any “changes” in our Torah. On the contrary, they were trying to PREVENT people from making any changes in Shabbos and Yom Tov!

    Let us look at a similar related example, one that Yanky noted in his comment. In one month from now will be the Yom Tov of Rosh Hashana. As is well known, one of the key aspects of our celebration of Rosh Hashana that the Torah instructs us is the Mitzva of blowing the Shofar. Now, the format of the Shofar blowing program is quite complex and it is something that we do not do every day. So when Rosh Hashana comes when we do need to use the Shofar, an average person may not have one available and may not know how to use it. So, he will go to where he can get one, and take it over to where there is a Talmid Chacham who can show him what to do with it.

    On Rosh Hashana, this is perfectly fine activity. However, if the day of Rosh Hashana is a Shabbos (as it will be this year), then this is NOT permitted activity! For on Shabbos (and also Yom Kippur), we are not permitted to move items through the open public space, and here, the person is taking the Shofar out of the building where it was and carrying it through the street and into the building where the rabbi is.

    As I explained above, in latter times, people are on a much lower level of holiness and have much less knowledge of the requirements of our Torah. So on a Rosh Hashana that is on Shabbos, very many people will understandably be very excited about it being the special holiday of Rosh Hashana, but will forget that it is also Shabbos and will certainly forget that we cannot carry things through the street on Shabbos. And in their eagerness to do the special Mitzva of Shofar, they will take Shofars all around from one place to another in order to get all the blowing done.

    We see this phenomenon very much in our current era. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are now not called just “holidays,” they are called “The ‘High’ Holidays”! They are thus presented as being THE holidays that are really “important,” while all the other holy days of Shabbos and the other Yom Tovs — are, of course, very nice, but are not really “so crucial.”

    Of course, the real truth is quite different. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are certainly, certainly, certainly, extremely sacred times with a holiness and connection with HaShem that is totally beyond our ability to even begin to comprehend!! As eminently great that Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are though, in certain aspects, the Yom Tov of Sukkos/Simchas Torah that follows, is even greater!! In fact, the Yom Tov of Sukkos/Simchas Torah forms “Part II” of the whole “Yamim Noraim” — “Days of Awe” program; it starts with Rosh HaShana, continues with Yom Kippur, continues further with Sukkos, and reaches the concluding climax on Simchas Torah.

    And, as eminently great as all the Yom Tov’s are, in certain aspects, the weekly Shabbos is even greater!! The weekly Shabbos is the starting point and the foundation of all the Yom Tovs. The lesson of Shabbos, that HaShem created and runs the world, IS the fundamental principle of all the Yom Tovs and, really, of all of Judaism! The various lessons of the different Yom Tovs are merely various specific aspects and manifestations of this central principle that HaShem created and continually operates the world that is taught by Shabbos.

    (NOPE!! We do NOT believe in “Evolution”!! Instead, we vehemently believe that all schools must teach all children the REAL science that G-D created, I repeat, G-D, yes, CREATED the world!!!)

    Therefore, it is entirely understandable that when the day of a Yom Tov coincides with a Shabbos, in all the special Yom Tov prayers, Shabbos is always mentioned first!

    Therefore, when the Yom Tov of Rosh Hashana coincides with a Shabbos, as very great as Rosh Hashana is, and as very great as the ritual of the Shofar is, it cannot be done at the expense of Shabbos!

    In general, we are not allowed to do “A Mitzva Haba’a B’Aveira” — “A Mitzva that is done by doing a crime.” To say it even more bluntly, “A Mitzva Haba’a B’Aveira” — “A Mitzva that is done by doing a crime” — IS NOT A MITZVA!! So, for example, if a person STEALS a Shofar and blows it, he did not do any Mitzva; he did not do his obligation, and he is thus required to go blow or hear it all over again from a kosher NON-STOLEN Shofar!!

    Similarly, we cannot do the ritual of Shofar if it would involve the Aveira of breaking Shabbos. As we explained at length above, with the lower levels of spiritual awareness that most of us have, doing the Shofar on Shabbos would easily lead to the breaking of Shabbos. Therefore, our nation declared that when Rosh HaShana coinsides with Shabbos, we DO NOT blow the Shofar.

    This exact pattern of logic applies to the day of Sukkos that coincides with Shabbos. With the lower levels of spiritual awareness that most of us have, in our eagerness to do the special Mitzva of Sukkos of using the Esrog-Lulav set, we would very likely forget about the rules of Shabbos and carry the Esrog-Lulav set all over. Therefore, our nation declared that on the day of Sukkos that coincides with Shabbos, we DO NOT use the Esrog-Lulav set.

    Again, in these cases of the Shofar and the Lulav, we are obviously not, G-d Forbid, “changing” the Torah! On the contrary, we are doing this so that people will NOT change the Torah by forgetting about Shabbos!!

    The “Takanos D’Rabonon” — “The enactments that our nation — and, specifically we mean those people of our nation who have attained high levels of holiness, integrity, and scholarship in our Torah and are thus fully equipped and qualified to lead us in observance and study of our Torah, whom we call the ‘Rabonim’ — The enactments that our Rabonim declared,” are NOT, G-D Forbid, “changes” in the Torah. On the contrary, our Rabonim are merely doing what HaShem has commanded us all to do, to use our basic common sense to do whatever is necessary to ensure that we DO NOT ever try to “change” the Torah!!


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